Boost Immunity and Stay Healthy this Ramadan
The holy month of Ramadan this year is marred by the coronavirus pandemic. While it is more important now to stay healthy while fasting and boost immunity to fight the virus. A strong immune system can only save us from the deadly virus.
In order to maintain optimal immune strength, we need to be careful about what kind of food groups we are eating in order to replenish lost nutrients during fasting.
Clinical Dietician at Dubai Diabetes Center, Zeina Younes says, “While several studies have indicated that fasting or cutting back on calories can actually enhance the activity of our T-cells and boost immunity. It is important to get adequate nutrition when ending the fast”. As reported by Gulf News.
Keeping the advice from the professionals there are certain things we should do and avoid while eating in Ramadan. The food we eat for sehri or iftar will ensure our health and help to boost immunity.
Macro & Micronutrients
We need to consume adequate amounts of all macro-nutrient groups like proteins, carbohydrates, fats and liquids to keep our metabolism active and efficient. While in order to boost the immunity along with macro-nutrients we also need adequate amount of micro-nutrients like vitamins, enzymes, minerals, salts and trace elements to boost immunity.
it is important to understand that a donut and a plate of mixed stir fry vegetables with quinoa or brown rice might give you the same amount of calories. While a donut is fired and it consists of high amount of glycaemic index and it not good in nutrition and it will also keep you hungry. However, the plate of complex carbohydrates along with vegetables have a low glycaemic index and also very rich in vitamins, minerals and fibre. It provides more nutrition and boost immunity. (Archana Baju, Clinical Dietician at Burjeel Hosptial Abu Dhabi).
Balance of Proteins
Archana Baju also recommends that we need to find a balance between plant-based and animal-based protein on our diet. If we are focusing more on animal-based proteins it is necessary to add legumes, lentils and pulses in the diet and also have one portion of plant-based protein in the diet. Choose lean proteins in animals proteins like eggs, dairy, fish or chicken and try to keep it grilled or bakes. It will reduce the use of oil in the diet that can destroy the nutritional elements.
Fats are also a very essential part of our body but as the saying goes excess of everything is bad so excess fat can be dangerous for health. We should use nuts and seeds in our diets to get the necessary good fats. While we must use olive groundnut, sesame, mustard and other oils. It is important to rotate these oils in cooking to get the best nutrients.
Checklist to ensure a healthy Ramazan
- We should avoid processed and packed foods.
- Avoid foods loaded with salts and sugar.
- Include more fruits and vegetables and include foods rich in Vitamin A, B, C, D and E.
- Consume fresh food every day (fruits, vegetables, lentils, milk products, lean proteins, legumes).
- Avoid fried foods and sugar-rich desserts.
- Try healthy cooking methods (steam, poach, bake, grill etc.)
- Use mineral salt for cooking and add herbs, spices, lemon, garlic.
- Try to trim off excessive fats from the meat.
- Skinless Chicken is best to eat.
- Drink a lot of water.
- Low-fat dairy, coconut water, herbal teas to keep the bodies hydrated.
- Take small walks, claim stairs and do stretches.